Resources & FAQs

What's a Sweet 16?

A Sweet 16 is a coming-of-age party celebrating a teenager’s 16th birthday. It is similar to a Quinceañera, Bat Mitzvah or Bar Mitzvah. Although Sweet 16s are most commonly held for girls, boys can also take part in the fun.

The event can be celebrated casually, formally or semi-formally.
Casual, modest celebrations can take place in the home with immediate family and close friends.
Formal celebrations tend to be catered affairs held in ballrooms, catering halls, or hotels.
Semi-formal celebrations may take place in a restaurant, church, community center, YMCA, JCC club, or other fraternal organizations.

What Are Sweet 16 Candelabras®?

Sweet 16 Candelabras® is a personalized candleholder for the candle lighting ceremony. It is composed of a base with the birthday guest of honor’s customized name, 17 taper candles, and a coordinated lighting stick.

Quinceañeras or Sweet 15 Candelabras receive 16 candles.

Bar and Bat Mitzvah Candelabras receive 14 candles.

What is the Sweet 16 Candle Ceremony?

In the US most birthday candles are traditionally blown out on a cake. While the exact history of the Sweet 16 candle lighting ceremony is unknown, it is most likely fashioned after the Bar and Bat Mitzvah candle lighting practiced in the Jewish faith.

While the custom is not historically religious its practice can’t be established before 1950s America.

Each candle represents a special person(s) in the birthday girl’s life. The birthday girl typically recites a dedication speech specifically thanking the honoree(s), and asks them to join her in lighting the candle.

Although the order in which people are recognized can be customized for each party, there is a general guideline to follow.

The first candle is dedicated to her parents.

The second candle may be dedicated to the next-closest family member, such as siblings or grandparents

The third to sixth candles are generally reserved for aunts, uncles, cousins or other close family members.

The seventh to 14th candles are dedicated to the birthday girl’s closest friends.

The 15th candle is usually assigned to the birthday girl’s best friend.

The 16th candle is reserved for a significant other or best male friend.

The 17th candle is used for a wish or for good luck.

With help planning your Sweet 16 celebration, visit the following links:
Wikihow: Plan a Sweet 16 Party
Sweet 16 Planning Guide

Sweet 16 Candle Lighting Ceremony Trends

There are new and exciting variations of the traditional candle lighting ceremony.


Sweet 16 Candelabras® is always innovating new styles and methods to satisfy the current trends and are made to last years. Don’t throw your money in the trash with cheap foam imitations. We created Two-Part Bases and Baseless Names. Explore new candle lighting ceremony techniques such as Dedication Reversals and Dedication Omissions, as well as candle alternatives such as Floating Candles, Pillar Candles and Flameless Candles.

We create Two-Part Bases that separate, creating removable names that can be placed on top of tables or mounted on a wall at a later date. This allows the name to be repurposed and held longer as a keepsake.

A Baseless Candelabra has no base and no candles. A custom designed name is created in the font and finish of your choice. Our most popular style is the Crystal Rhinestone Script Sweet 16 Candelabras®. Sweet 16 Candelabras® names are made to order and created by hand. Cut from wood, this tabletop name is versatile and stronger than foam imitations. You can add your own décor or incorporate one of the alternative candle arrangements below.

Another candle lighting trend is the Dedication Reversal. Instead of the birthday girl dedicating a candle to each person, the pre-selected person dedicates a candle to the birthday girl. This is a great option for girls afraid of public speaking and eliminates the need to memorize 16 different speeches. The responsibility of writing and reciting the dedication is split between 16 honorees. Each person comes up, recites their dedication, and lights their respective candle.

Another trend is the Dedication Omission. There are two versions of this method. This more closely resembles regular candles on a birthday cake. There are no dedications, which saves time at your event. The first option is the Light & Blow Method. The birthday girl lights all 17 candles at once, guests sing happy birthday, and she blows them out all at once. Any style of candle can be used for this method since they are only lit for a few minutes.
The second method is the Wish & Blow Method*16 candles are lit during the entire event, leaving only the 17th ‘wishing candle’ unlit. When scheduled, the birthday girl can make her wish and light her 17th candle. At that time, guests sing happy birthday and then she blows all 17 candles out.

*It is best to use floating candles or pillar candles for this method since they have safer and longer burn times.

The Floating Candles* alternative is a popular trend. 17 glass cylinder or cube vases of various sizes are arranged around a name, cake or cupcake tower. A floating candle sits on top of the filled vases. These cylinder vases can be filled with water, led lighting, submerged flowers, crystals, water gems or themed items.

*Floating candle arrangements take time to set up at a venue. I recommend hiring a professional florist or event decorator to create a design and set this up for you.

The Pillar Candle* is a beautiful alternative, albeit a challenging one. A series of 17 pillar candles of various sizes is arranged on varying sized candleholders. Pillar candles range in height from 3” to 12” and come in many widths, colors, finishes and scents. Pillar candle holders can be made from simple unfinished wood, glass and metal, to beaded crystal and Plexiglas/acrylic.

*This is the costliest of candle lighting ceremony options; prices can range from a few to hundreds of dollars for a single candleholder and no matter what style or finish you choose, you will require 17 candles as well as 17 holders.

Flameless Candles* may be substituted at venues where the fire codes or management prohibit open flames. Flameless candles, sometimes called LED candles, are available in taper, tea light and pillar-sized formats. Many brands also have a wax finish making them look like real candles.

*Flameless candles should be tested at home for reliability and battery life before your event. It is a good idea to purchase an extra set of batteries to bring to the event for backup.

Another challenge is the location of the on/off switch. Remote-controlled flameless candles are available, however, all candles must be lit at the same time.
Flameless candles can be expensive and difficult to buy in bulk, as you will need 17 of them.

What's Included with a Quote?

Our Quotes are Jam Packed with Photo Samples and Video links


A free price quote from Sweet16 Candelabras® is based on your event’s size, location, theme and colors. It may include detailed pricing for personalized Sweet 16 Candelabras®, centerpiece rentals, bouquets, linens, dais décor rental, back drop rental, money boxes, posters, table numbers and more. It will also include photos and delivery fees. A current list of related videos will also accompany your price quote.



We generally honor written prices for a period of 6 months.

Dates of rental services are reserved with a 50% deposit.

Still need help? Send us a note!
For any other questions, please write us at info@sweet16candelabras.com or call us at (631) 421-2286
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